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Liz's Blog

An ongoing conversation

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August 27, 2022

 The third chapter of Luke introduces us to John the Baptist’s preachings on repentance. When the word of God came to him, he reiterated what the prophet Isaiah spoke regarding preparing the way for the Lord’s coming: Every valley shall be filled in, and every mountain and hill made low.” (Luke 3:5 & Isa. 40:4, NIV). Reading this passage, I pondered if it was pointing us towards Jesus’ message of humility. Scripture frequently tells us that Jesus taught that the proud would be humbled and the lowly raised up. Humility would certainly be an instrumental way to prepare yourself for the Lord.

A humbling experience for Jesus must have been being baptized by John, also found in Luke 3. Luke alone of the Synoptic gospels tells us that Jesus was praying during his baptism, and “as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him….” Want more of the Holy Spirit in your life? Humble yourself and pray!

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March 8, 2022

Several people have requested I post the Self-Assessment Questions from my speaking engagement at the Bridgeway Women’s Breakfast, so here they are:

1. Are you becoming more resistant or more responsive to God and His Word?

2. Are you following God’s directives of forgiving others?

3. Are you waiting patiently for God to fulfill His promises?

4. Are we focusing on unity or division? Especially among Christians, are any of our words or actions causing division in the body of Christ?

5. Are we being hypocritical? Are we judging others on things we do ourselves?

6. Are we in fellowship with other Christians and engaged with a local church?

7. Are you living a life worthy of the calling you have received? Are you using your time wisely?

8. Are you using the spiritual gifts you have been given for the betterment of the body of Christ?

9. What is the role of your job in your life? Is it an opportunity to live and speak the gospel to others or just something you do to get a paycheck? If it’s the latter, what changes could you implement to adjust your perspective on this?

10. What is the role of money in your life? Are you using it to honor God?

11. Are you embodying Christ to others?

12. Are you sharing the gospel with others verbally?

13. Are you aware of temptation in your life? Are you successfully resisting it?

14. Are you aware of any areas of sin in your life currently? What are you doing to overcome it?

15. Are you discipling someone else in your life? Are you being discipled?

16. Are you in conflict with anyone? What can you do to bring reconciliation to the issue?

17. Are you spiritually maturing?

18. What are you personally doing to further the kingdom of God?

19. Are you engaged regularly in the Word of God?

September 21, 2021

 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.” Genesis 1:28

We’ve all read this verse and taken it at face value: God is blessing Adam and Eve shortly after creation, before the dreaded fall. And we read it in light of blessing them with children and future generations. However, what if there is another layer underneath the surface reading?

I love the joy of God’s revelation when He discloses a second meaning, whether it be an analogy, prophecy, or just additional depth of understanding. I read this verse this week during part of my regular Bible study, and my eyes were opened to additional meaning to it.

God blesses or perhaps commands Adam and Eve to do four things: be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. And suddenly I questioned why he would basically say the same thing three different times. I had always read being fruitful, multiplying, and filling the earth as one directive told three ways. This is frequently done in the Bible to show emphasis, especially in the Psalms. But now I questioned whether each verb was meant to direct them to a unique command. Here is my interpretation of what each directive could possibly mean in our post-Jesus New Testament times.

1. Be fruitful – Produce good works.

God tells us over and over again, in both the Old and New Testaments, to be fruitful. John 15 is the consummate passage about abiding in Jesus Christ and producing fruit that will last. Philippians 1:22 shows us Paul’s indecision about living for Christ and producing good fruit versus his constant desire to die and return to Jesus. He chooses to continue the work God has given him to do until such time as the Lord takes him home.

2. Multiply – Disciple others.

We should always be discipling others as well as being discipled ourselves. The word “disciple” means an active follower of a teacher. We as Christians are dedicated followers of Jesus and we read the Bible to know Him and understand His will for us. But we can also model ourselves and our behavior after other mature Christians as role models, just as Paul urges us in 1 Corinthians 4:16 to imitate him. In that passage, Paul references sending Timothy to the Corinthians, and Timothy is the perfect example of one being taught by Paul but then going out to instruct and lead others.

3. Fill the earth – Spread the gospel.

Matthew 28:16-20 is known as the Great Commission and relates Jesus commanding his disciples to “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Acts 1:8 is another famous verse instructing us to spread the gospel to the entire world.

4. Subdue it [the earth] – Resist evil and subdue the flesh.

The book of Galatians gives us many useful instructions on ways to live by the Spirit and cease to gratify the ways of the flesh, which is our sinful earthly nature. Per Philippians 3:20, we are no longer citizens of the earth but of heaven. We must give up the ways of the earth and the flesh and live by the power of the Holy Spirit as citizens of heaven. 

April 3, 2021

Have you ever thought about how much your soul was worth?

Without going into details, one night I faced an enticement from the enemy and that was a clear, defining point in my life. I wrestled with the choice all night. I had two choices. I could either give in to the desire and do something I knew I shouldn’t, with a well-developed plan to rationalize it away, or I could make the opposite choice and step away from the temptation.

I tossed and turned all night. It was a battle for my soul and my obedience to what I knew was right. Was I a Christian in name only, or did I know what Jesus wanted me to do? More importantly, would I obey Him?

Although I couldn’t see the battle at hand around me, I have no doubt it was taking place. That’s what Hezekiah - A Conversation With the Enemy is about. It explores how the devil tempts us and how we can stand firm against his attacks and triumph over him.  

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